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My Little House Design: IKEA Rast Makeover

Friday, September 7, 2012

IKEA Rast Makeover

This past weekend I did an IKEA hack that turned out... eh. This post is more of a progress report than a finished product because I ran into a few bumps in the road. Here is what I began with:


This is probably IKEA's most hacked item. It's a sold wood dresser that is only $34. It is very small only 2' tall by 11" wide, but it is the perfect size for a bedside table. My bedside table has been a point of style contention for a while. Here are some recent incarnations:

That first picture doesn't really show the table I had but it's an IKEA Lack table with wheels. I hated it because it was too low and my dog was always getting the stuff off the top of it. Then I moved the Navy chairs in there. I really like this look but it's impractical. It never looked that clean and styled, it was more like tissues and books everywhere (exactly like in the first image).

I decided at some point that a small dresser would be perfect there for several reasons. One, it would balance out the bigger bed that I have and two, it would keep all my bedside stuff hidden (books, Kleenix, water bottle, ear plugs... apparently I'm high maintenance) and out of reach of my dog's sneaky snout. I looked on Craigslist and at a few garage sales and thrift shops but didn't find anything under $40. The Rast was always on my radar so I went for it when nothing more unique came my way. As you can see from the picture above it's basically a blank canvas and a lot of people have done crazy cool stuff to make it more unique. Here are a few of my favorites:





Pretty amazing right? But the one that really got me excited was the first one. I love the look of wood and white furniture. Plus the brass = AWESOME.

So after assembling the little devil I got to staining and painting. I already had white semi-gloss on hand but the stain was another story. After a little internet research I thought I knew what I wanted but then I went to the store and got something completely different. Yes, I made the classic mistake of second guessing myself and I got the cheapest option which was the varnish plus shellac in one. If you're a big DIYer I know you are cringing because it is such a rookie mistake. But for all the DIY I've done I've never used stain before so I get my one mistake. My problem with the stain and varnish in one is that it didn't go on evenly and it looked like this:

Looking at these pictures now it doesn't look as bad as I thought, but it definitely wasn't as dark as I wanted it to be so I did a second coat. That is when the real trouble started.

YIKES. But I'm nothing if not lazy and cheap so I just let it be for a few days. I finished painting the drawers and I went ahead and painted the wood knobs that came with the dresser just for the time being (I'll talk more about the knobs in a minute).

It doesn't look that bad because the sides and top are mostly covered but it's so patchy that it bothers me. Maybe this weekend I'll gather the energy needed to re-sand and stain it... but that sounds pretty terrible right now.

Okay so knobs need to be added to the list of things that are way more expensive than they should be. These things are like an inch in diameter and people expect me to pay $4-9 per knob?! That's crazy. Here are the ones I want:


But since they are $4.79 a piece it would cost nearly as much as the dresser to buy them. So I'll probably end up with something more like one of these:



Not as cool as a brass ring but what can a girl on a budget do? These knobs are $2.66 and $1.48 respectively.

So that is my almost-makeover of a Rast dresser. Hopefully, I'll be back soon with more updates.

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At September 7, 2012 at 6:22 PM , Blogger Display said...

I actually kind of like the messy stain look!

At October 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Kim said...

I love that rast hack! I'm debating doing this myself.


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